Book Review | The Valiant | Lesley Livingston

I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review | The Valiant | Lesley LivingstonThe Valiant by Lesley Livingston
Published by Razorbill on February 14, 2017
Genres: Ancient Rome, Historical Fiction
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher via NetGalley
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

The youngest daughter of a proud Celtic king, Fallon has always lived in the shadow of her older sister Sorcha’s legendary reputation as a warrior. But when Fallon was a young child, the armies of Julius Caesar invaded the island of Britain and her beloved older sister was killed in battle.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her rightful place in her father’s royal war band. But she never gets the chance. Instead, Fallon is captured by a band of ruthless brigands who sell her to an exclusive training school for female gladiators—and its most influential patron is none other than Julius Caesar himself. In a cruel twist of fate, Fallon’s worst enemy, the man who destroyed her family, might be her only hope of survival.

Now, Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries, chilling threats and the dangerous attention of Caesar himself to survive the deadly fights that take place both in and out of the arena—and claim her place in history among the Valiant.

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Book Review | The Bear and the Nightingale | Katherine Arden

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review | The Bear and the Nightingale | Katherine ArdenThe Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Published by Del Rey on January 10, 2017
Genres: Adult, Folklore, Historical Fiction, Russia
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
AmazonBarnes & NobleGoodreads

At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year and the snowdrifts grow taller than houses. But Vasilisa doesn’t mind—she spends the winter nights huddled around the embers of a fire with her beloved siblings, listening to her nurse’s fairy tales. Above all, she loves the chilling story of Frost, the blue-eyed winter demon, who appears in the frigid night to claim unwary souls. Wise Russians fear him, her nurse says, and honor the spirits of house and yard and forest that protect their homes from evil.

After Vasilisa’s mother dies, her father goes to Moscow and brings home a new wife. Fiercely devout, city-bred, Vasilisa’s new stepmother forbids her family from honoring the household spirits. The family acquiesces, but Vasilisa is frightened, sensing that more hinges upon their rituals than anyone knows.

And indeed, crops begin to fail, evil creatures of the forest creep nearer, and misfortune stalks the village. All the while, Vasilisa’s stepmother grows ever harsher in her determination to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for either marriage or confinement in a convent.

As danger circles, Vasilisa must defy even the people she loves and call on dangerous gifts she has long concealed—this, in order to protect her family from a threat that seems to have stepped from her nurse’s most frightening tales.

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Secret Sister Project 6.0 (OMG!)

Secret Sister Project

On The Same Page Secret Sister Project 6.0

I cannot believe that it is already time for round SIX of #OTSPSECRETSISTER!!

Let’s first get some housekeeping things out of the way…

The two most important things to do when signing up to be a part of this project are:

  1. Head over to the google form which coincides with your monetary tier and fill it out in full. NOTE: IF YOU FORGET TO DO THIS THEN YOU WILL NOT BE PAIRED. THIS IS LITERALLY WHAT WE ARE USING TO PAIR YOU UP, IF YOU AREN’T ON THE FORM, WE CAN NOT PAIR YOU.
  2. BEFORE scrolling down to the questions, and BEFORE signing up to be a part of this project please THOROUGHLY read our FAQ and Rules post. Memorize the rules and refer back to it throughout the project. We have had to put more strict standards in place due to prior issues and therefore there is little leeway for tolerance of people not abiding the “rules.”

Just to cover all of our bases let me reiterate a few things, but please keep in mind that this is just a basic glossing over of these rules, we go more in detail and clarify everything in the main post that we are asking you to reference.

First, please remember that this is a commitment. By signing up to be a secret sister you are promising to send at least one small card AND gift to your secret sister a month depending on the “monetary group” for which you sign up. Only those in the pen pal tier are not expected to send gifts, that is strictly letters/cards. IN ADDITION to packages, you are also asked to send letters and or/postcards to foster positive communication. Many people asked for their to be an emphasis on the pen pal aspects of this project and we have been working hard to remind everyone that it’s not about the gifts, and this seems like the perfect way to do so. It is very important that you don’t sign up for this unless you are willing to follow through. Please think of how sad (and unfair) it would be for someone to be working hard to make their secret sister feel special and not receive anything themselves!

Last thing, sign-ups run from January 13 to midnight on January 27!

The Rules:

  • You must “know” one of the hosts in order to join! 
  • You must be 18 or older to participate in The Secret Sister Project 
  • You must actively use the hashtag #OTSPSecretSister during your time participating in The Secret Sister Project.
  • If we have to reach out to you more than once to ask if you why your sister hasn’t yet received anything then you will be asked to cease in participating.
  • If we contact you and ask if you sent something to your sister and you say yes but are unable to provide tracking for the package then you will be asked to cease in participating. 
  • If you have not received anything by the end of the month then YOU must contact US.
  • If for any reason you find that you have to drop out of this project, please email us immediately.
  • You will be asked to provide the name and contact info (email addresses, please) of a “buddy” who will be willing to answer questions put forth by your sister. We are asking that you keep this to someone who is in the community and therefore will be easy to contact. Husbands/moms/sisters are not easy or comfortable to contact.*Don’t stress out about this. This person will be available to ask you questions from your sister, or let you know to check your mail. It is not necessary for this person to know you inside and out, just that they have the ability to be contacted, and to contact you when your sister has a question. Additionally, do not bog this person down with incessant questions, use your best judgement when possible and get creative!
  • Below, you will be asked to provide a Goodreads or Amazon wish list with 20 or more books including newer and older titles that is specific to The Secret Sister Project. *Do not share this list with anyone else!
  • You must answer ALL of the questions put forth in the sign-up email as well as be detailed and thorough. We will absolutely be sending emails back to you that we deem “incomplete.”
  • Keep in mind that there is strong emphasis on the pen pal aspect. Meaning that if you have signed up for one of the higher price ranges, you should still send a letters to your sister.
  • Do not tweet or use the hashtag to ask for specific and/or luxurious items.
  • Do not tweet negativity while using the hashtag
  • Do not send swag
  • Pay attention to your sister’s likes/dislikes and wishilists
  • ARCs and shipping do not count toward your monetary limit
  • Do not send packages directly from Amazon

I cannot say this enough times, read and re-read our FAQ and Rules post. If you do not abide by the rules, you will no longer be allowed to participate.

Okay, now we can move on to the fun stuff!

So how do I sign up?

It’s easy! Just answer every question in the questionnaire below and email it over to by midnight on January 27! ALSO, in addition to the questionnaire, you will also be asked to answer a few questions for a Google form. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not fill out BOTH of these things in full, then you will NOT be paired. This is what we will be using to pair, so DO NOT FORGET. Please remember to thoroughly answer each and every question, and keep in mind that there is no such thing as saying “too much!” We will send back any unfinished questionnaires, so be as thorough and detailed as you can! If you need some help filling this out, head back over to a previous round’s FAQ and Rules post and check out the example we provided!

For those of you wishing to join the Pen Pal Tier ONLY: please still fill out the questionnaire in full with the exception of your wish lists. The questions will be a good way for us to pair you up with someone, and for your pen pal to get to know you.

International participants: Please use this Google form to sign up instead of one coinciding with the tiers. There will be a place for you to fill out your preference of which tier you would like to belong but we can not guarantee this. Due to international participation being low, we may have to put you all into the same tier, which will most likely be chosen by the majority vote, in order to ensure that you all get a match!

Here we go!


Mailing Address: 

Is the above address a residence/PO Box/Condo/place of employment: (*As in, will your mail get to you when the tracking says delivered, or will you need to wait to get to the mailbox/mailroom?)

Email Address: 


Twitter Name:

Did you participate in one of the prior rounds of the Secret Sister Project? If yes, which round?

If yes, please provide us with the names of your former sisters (those you gave to, and received from – it is okay if you don’t yet know who is sending to you this round):

How much are you willing to contribute to the project monthly? Choose one (NOTE: this is just a range, you can of course go over the limit but please keep the pen pal aspect in mind, and please remember that is about cheer and not just gifts.) REMINDER: International participants are to fill out THIS google form only, do not fill out one provided below.

  • Pen pals: That’s right, this is strictly letters and cards. No trinkets, no extras, nothing besides letters. If you want to send ANYTHING more than a letter or a card every month then we ask that you sign up for one of the higher monetary tiers. *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE PEN PAL TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM
  • $5-$10: (Send a heartfelt letter to catch your sister up on how things are going that month and then send an e-book, baked goods, homemade bookmark or other DIY project, or how about a movie night box with a DVD (thanks to the $5 bin at Walmart) and some candy for a movie night!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $5-$10 TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM.
  • $15-$20 (Any of the possibilities listed above and perhaps a newer hardcover from your sister’s wish-list, some fun socks, fandom tshirt, themed box, get creative!!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $15-$20 TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM
  • $25+ (The sky’s the limit here, we just ask that you remember to reign it in a bit and remember the goal of this project is for cheer, and joy and forging positive relationships, not excessive gifts. Send those heartfelt letters!!) *IF YOU ARE CHOOSING THE $25+ TIER THEN CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT YOUR GOOGLE FORM

Your OTSPSecretSister “buddy’s” Twitter or email: (*We are asking that you keep this to someone who is in the community and therefore will be easy to contact. Husbands/moms/sisters are not easy or comfortable to contact. This person will be available to ask you questions put forth by your sister, or let you know to check your mail. It is not necessary for this person to know you inside and out, just that they have the ability to be contacted, and to contact you when your sister has a question. Do NOT bog this person down with incessant questions, use your best judgement when possible and get creative!)

Goodreads Profile (*so that they can access your wishlists! Make sure to turn off the privacy setting & try and keep it updated!):

Goodreads/Amazon bookish wishlist: (*must have at least 20 titles of older and newer titles, please try not to purchase any books off of this wishlist and if you do please let your sister know via your buddy or one of us. Do not give anyone else access to this list. Not parents, husbands, friends, co-workers, secret santas…NO ONE. If you do not want to share a wishlist by making it public, you may list the books here instead.)

“Other” wishlist: (*Keep these within reason for prices, etc! Please do not include pricey things, this is more for places like Etsy or for cheap DVDs on Amazon, and so on!)

Important Dates to Remember (*This can be anything and everything! Your birthday, the day you are expecting your baby, the day you are leaving for your next vacation, your anniversary with your partner, a big test you have coming up, the first day at your new job, the anniversary of the day you quit smoking, even a sad anniversary that you would like to be cheered up on!)

Your favorite items under $5: (things like stationary, nail polish, fav candy etc.)

Food Allergies:


Your Likes (*Give us an array of things here! Types of snacks, TV shows, movies, bands/types of music, art):

Your Dislikes (*Example: chocolate covered cherries, anything cinnamon flavored, the color brown):

Do you have a favorite store?:

Are you okay receiving a gift card? If so, to where?

Would you be comfortable receiving baked goods of some kind?

What Do You Splurge On?: 

Favorite Flowers: 

Favorite Color?:

Favorite (or least favorite) smells: (*for things such as candles, soaps, bath bombs/bubbles, perfumes)

Do You Collect Anything?:

Do You Drink Coffee, Tea, Hot Chocolate?: 

Do You Have an E-reader?: 

Would you be okay being gifted an ebook? If so, please provide the email associated with your e-reader:

List some of your favorite genres or authors: 

Are there any authors or genres that you won’t read? 

T-shirt size:

Hogwarts House:

Favorite Disney movie and/or princess:

Any magazine that you wish you had a subscription to? 

Anything else we should know about you? (*Be thorough here! There is no such thing as “saying too much,” the more your “secret sister” knows, the easier it is to spoil you!)

Third and final reminder that you MUST also fill out a google spreadsheet which coincides with your monetary tier. Links can be found above, do not forget, or you WILL NOT be paired!!

As always, please remember that you can always reach out to us with any inquiries or issues, that is what we are here for! Use the #OTSPSecretSister hashtag to talk with us and your fellow sisters! Thank you for helping us continue to spread positivity and cheer throughout our little community!

My Outlander Audio Re-Read Project


My Outlander Audio Re-Read Project

Perhaps I should start out by saying that this post isn’t coming at the start of something, like most posts of this nature do. No, it’s coming just as the end is in sight. Still, I’m on the cusp of doing something that I’ve wanted to do for a little while now, and didn’t want the occasion to pass without sharing it with you guys! Because, Outlander? The EPIC historical fiction, romance, time-traveling, tale of Claire and Jamie Fraser by Diana Gabaldon? One of my favorite series OF. ALL. TIME. ALL THE TIME.

Since we aren’t starting at the beginning, let me take you back there for a second. If any of you have ever seen one of the Outlander books, you know they are humongous. Reading them is often a time-consuming commitment, especially for me. Over the years since I first discovered OUTLANDER–in the romance section of my local Borders (RIP)–I’d managed to make my way, sometimes at a limp, through the first seven books of the series, falling in love with basically everything except Black Jack Randall and Stephen Bonnet along the way. But a hurdle was presenting itself to me: WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD. Book 8. By the time it came out in 2014, I was in the thick of YA/blogging, and never managed to find the time to devote to it. So, in November of 2015, I decided I was going to embark upon an epic quest: re-reading the first seven books via audio (a favorite thing to do) and then listen to book 8 to finish it off.

I finished listening to AN ECHO IN THE BONE on my way home from work today. I’m starting WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEART’S BLOOD tomorrow.

(Too much drama? Eh, maybe.)


DAVINA. (Photo cred: Outlander TV News)

When I finished ECHO, I took a few deep breaths in my car because tomorrow = uncharted territory. I have no idea what’s going to happy to Jamie, Claire, Brianna, Roger, Jem, Ian…nothing. I’ve spent over a year listening ONLY to these books, and to the mellifluous voice of Davina Porter. When I finish HEART’S BLOOD, 45 hours from tomorrow morning, I’ll have no more Outlander to read. No idea what could come next. I’ll surely go through some period of intense withdrawal accompanied by a urgent need to know what comes next. Because let me tell you, the title of book 9, GO TELL THE BEES I’M GONE, does NOT make me feel ok. I DON’T WANT ANYONE TO BE GONE, DIANA.

But until then, I’m going to make these 45 hours last as long as possible (not hard, since I only listen on my drive to and from work, which is an hour at most total); try not to borrow trouble, as my mom always tells me; and enjoy the shit out of myself.


2016 Favorites + 2017 Anticipations!

2016 favorites

2016 Favorites + 2017 Anticipations!

(aka, What Even Is Blogging, or, In Which Amy Blogs for the First Time in Literal Months)

My dear friends. Remember those few times last year when I was like, “I feel like I’m going to start blogging again soon”? No, me either. Well, a little bit, I remember. Anyway, let’s not get bogged down too much with past promises. I’m feeling like taking this new year to pick up the reins again and get back into the swing of things. I can’t promise that I’ll be posting every day, but I’m going to make a very real effort to post at least twice a week. I probably still won’t be one for scheduling posts, because I am, at my very core, an outrageous procrastinator, but I find myself missing this space more and more. So there you have it, friends. My only New Year’s resolution. Call me out if I’m falling off the wagon, k?

One hat tip: I’m listening to B.B. King’s Auld Lang Syne because it’s jaunty and happy and it’s giving me energy and peppiness to keep my chin up this year. So, thanks to the King of the Blues and Lucille for this post.

Ok. So. In celebration of this turning of the page, I wanted to post about my favorite books from 2016 and the ones I’m looking forward to the most for this year. (Yes, I missed both of these Top Ten Tuesdays.) To the 2016 favorites we go!

[Read more…]

Fortnight of Fright | Halloween Book + Movie Recs

Fortnight of Fright

Halloween Book +  Movie Recs

What kind of book blog would I be if I didn’t share a Halloween Book Recs post for Fortnight of Fright?? That’s right. A bad one. Thankfully, Jennie from The Book Nut is here to save the day with some books AND movies! She’s got some good ones for you!

It’s no secret that we love Halloween at our blog, The Book Nut. So we’re absolutely thrilled to be a part of a Fortnight of Fright!

There’s nothing better than settling down with a scary book or movie during the month of October, so I’ve decided to share a few of my favourites with you today!

1. THE REPLACEMENT by Brenna Yovanoff

Book Recs
My number one scary read, EVER. Babies being taken from their cribs and replaced with “other” children? A whole creepy world underneath the slag heap in town? yeah, this qualifies as the spookiest read I have ever read. It’s also one of my favourites, EVER!


Book Recs


I love vampires. LOVE THEM. Holly Black managed to write her own dark YA version of what reminded me of THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES — and it’s spectacular.


Book Recs


A mother loses her child after moving back to her childhood home, a now abandoned orphanage — riddled with the spirits of long dead children. I don’t even know how to begin to explain how scared I got by this film! I don’t usually scare easily, but this one had me up until dawn so I could go to sleep safely! It’s in Spanish as well which gives the film an even scarier aspect, though how I can’t quite say. I loved it.


Book Recs

The brilliant thing about this one is that it’s both a book AND a film–one that scared me so badly that I refuse to read/watch it again! IT scared me so badly as a child that I was convinced there was a killer clown coming out of the sewers when I walked home from school.

Even as an adult I am super unsettled by the image of Tim Curry as Pennywise.


Book Recs


An EMP goes off. Billions die–but amongst the survivors, a zombie apocalypse starts. In this series, you don’t know who you can trust and who is a “Changed.” I loved this series so much, but it’s so unsettling. READ IT!

Fortnight of Fright | Books + Halloween Candies

Fortnight of Fright

Books + Halloween Candies

What two things go better together than books and candy? Or books and ANYTHING for that matter? Not much, in my opinion. I’m so excited to have Angela from Angela’s Library here to share this awesome book-and-candy-pairing list with Halloween candy!

candyHi everybody – I’m happy to once again be participating in A Fortnight of Fright! My husband and I were recently shopping for candy to pass out to trick-or-treaters, and while we were browsing I started thinking about the clever names the various candies had. That led to me thinking about how some of those names could be equated with different types of books, and the idea for this post was born. Below is a recommended reading list, inspired by popular candies. I hope you enjoy it!

Snickers: Funny Books

  • My Best Friend, The Atlantic Ocean and Other Great Bodies Standing Between Me and My Life With Giulio by Jane Harrington: Written in the form of a journal for English class, this book details a ditzy teenager’s hilarious attempts to steal her best friend’s sexy Italian boyfriend. (Read my review here.)
  • Beauty Queens by Libba Bray: I like to think of Beauty Queens as a comedic version of what The Lord of the Flies would have been like if the plane that crashed on a “deserted” island had carried teen beauty pageant contestants instead of British schoolboys.
  • Play Me Backwards by Adam Selzer: This book had me laughing until my cheeks ached. It features a deadbeat teen whose best friend claims to be Satan, parents who plan “disaster dinners” complete with costumes and alter egos, an epic slushie quest, and lots of hijinks and goofiness.

Skittles: Diverse BooksCandy

  • If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo: This book follows your typical “new girl at school struggles to fit in and find love” plot, with one important exception: that new girl was born a boy. As a heterosexual, cisgender reader, If I Was Your Girl challenged me to view the world from a new perspective and opened my eyes to the various struggles transgender men and women face every day.
  • OCD, The Dude and Me by Lauren Roedy Vaughn: The quirky yet lovable heroine of Vaughn’s novel battles severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Reading about her struggles and endless idiosyncrasies is humorous at times and heartbreaking at others. (Read my review here).
  • Push by Sapphire: Although it’s a short book, I found it incredibly challenging to make it the whole way through Push, as it features horrific abuse and is emotionally draining. All the same, I’m glad I read it, as it let me see through the eyes of someone totally different from myself: a young black girl living in poverty who’s been impregnated multiple times by her own father.

3 Musketeers: Books Featuring Strong Friendships

  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor: Karou, the blue-haired heroine of this trilogy, and Zuzana, her tiny but fierce BFF, share one of my favorite fictional friendships. They’re intensely devoted to one another and are as hilarious individually as they are as a pair.
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: The Raven Cycle series is about magic and fast cars and dreams and psychics, but its heartbeat is the all-consuming friendship shared by the titular Raven Boys and a girl named Blue, who finds herself swept up in the boys’ quest to find an ancient Welsh king.
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky: Charlie is a quiet, troubled loner when he starts high school, but that all changes when a group of upperclassmen take him under their wing. Never underestimate the power of friendship to change your life for the better!

milky-way-pic-angelas-libraryMilky Way: Books Set In Outer Space

  • Lightless by C.A. Higgins: Written by an author with a physics degree from Cornell University, Lightless tells the story of those on board a military spaceship: the terrorists who were caught trying to hijack the ship, the computer scientist who is developing a relationship with the ship, and the artificial intelligence system that is rapidly developing a will of its own.
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams: When Earth is destroyed in order to build a interplanetary superhighway, a hapless Brit finds himself hitching his way across the universe on a wild and ridiculously funny journey.
  • These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner: Described by many as “The Titanic in space,” this novel follows a young man and woman from very different walks of life who are forced to rely on one another after they’re (space)shipwrecked on an unfamiliar planet.

Pixie Stix: Books About Fairy Talescandy

  • Enchanted by Alethea Kontis: This first book in Kontis’ Woodcutter Sisters series is a delightful mash-up of various fairy tales, such as “The Frog Prince,” “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “The 12 Dancing Princesses.” (Read my review here.)
  • Nameless by Lili St. Crow: What would the tale of “Snow White” look like if the princess had been taken in by the Mafia, instead of by seven dwarves? And what if the members of that Mafia were vampires? Well, it’d probably look a lot like this book. (Read my review here.)
  • Kill Me Softly by Sarah Cross: Cross’ novel is set in a town where each inhabitant is destined to live out a predetermined role in a fairy tale, whether as villain, hero, princess, etc. It’s brilliant and edgy and one of my favorite fairy tale stories yet.

Fortnight of Fright | Halloween Books + Movies

Fortnight of Fright

Halloween Books + Movies

Can you guys believe that Halloween is just ONE WEEK from today? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN!? As usual, time is flying by. Of course, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be well into the Halloween spirit by now, but just in case you need a crash course in Halloween media in which to indulge to get you just the right amount of spooked, Morgan from Gone with the Words is here to help!

I’m so happy to be participating in Fortnight of Fright again! I’m a big fan of being festive and I particularly love Halloween and fall! One of my favorite things to do is watch Halloween movies (although I don’t like horror movies). Here’s a list of movies that are on my must list:

Hocus Pocus: a true cult classic and a forever favorite. In fact, I wrote about it two years ago!
The Haunted Mansion: an under the radar pick and much better than you might think! It’s spooky and funny and has a lot of fun nods to the ride.
Casper: “Can I keep you?” I’ll never be over that, or the music.
Monster House: a perfect Halloween treat, it’s great.
Goosebumps: I saw this in theaters last year and immediately wanted to add it to my Halloween lineup! Fun and scary.
Ghostbusters: another that had to be added to my annual list. I laughed so much and the ghosts are creepy!
Practical Magic: romantic, tragic, and so very witchy.
Hotel Transylvania: lots of fun, I love all of the monsters!
Paranorman: Sad but wonderful with a historical twist, and set in a Salem-like town.
The Covenant: I watched this for the first time recently (couldn’t resist the attractive cast!). It’s cheesy but the atmosphere is spooky and perfect for Halloween, as is the witchy storyline.


Unfortunately I’m a very moody reader so even though I have good intentions, I’m not great at sticking to lists. These five books are on my October TBR though, rife with witches, demons, faeries, and creepy mysteries. All sound like good seasonal books to me!

What movies do you like to watch every year? Are there any seasonal books on your TBR?

Fortnight of Fright | Laurie’s Magic 4-Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Fortnight of Fright

Laurie’s Magic 4-Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Guys. I need these muffins. Four ingredients? Pumpkin spice? YES. Thank you, Emily from Emily Reads Everything for sharing Laurie’s awesome recipe!

Laurie’s Magic 4-Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Pumpkin spice muffins

Hello! I’m Emily from Emily Reads Everything. Thank you so much to Amy for having me here today to share this muffin recipe. These muffins come from my friend, Laurie. It is told she found the recipe on as a recipe for pumpkin cakes. She adapted the recipe a little and history was made. These muffins are quick and easy to make and moist and delicious to eat. Plus they aren’t terrible for you, so don’t feel too guilty if they all disappear like magic within 24 hours of baking them.

This recipe calls for cinnamon chips. If you can find them, they come from Hershey’s and they look like chocolate chips, except not. When I baked this batch, I couldn’t find cinnamon chips, so I substituted Greek yogurt chips. Still delicious. White Chocolate chips or even nuts would work as well (but nuts are gross).

pumpkin spice muffins

Deliciousness is in your future!

pumpkin spice muffins

YUMMMM. Thanks, Emily!

Twitter: @emren
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Fortnight of Fright | Frightlopedia Review + Giveaway

Fortnight of Fright

Frightlopedia by Julie Winterbottom Review + Giveaway

FrightlopediaFriends, I’m very excited about today’s Fortnight of Fright post! I have to say a big thanks to Estelle at Workman Publishers, I received a copy of Julie Winterbottom’s FRIGHTLOPEDIA and instantly loved it. It’s the perfect mix of facts, great artwork, fun stories, fables, crafts, and spooky illustrations. Any young (or old!) lover of scary, silly, creepy things will get a big kick out of it.

FRIGHTLOPEDIA is set up exactly like an encyclopedia–separate entries for different topics–with bonus entries like how to say “boo” in different languages, how to make fake blood, a bracket at the end to help you find your greatest fear. I love this. It’s the perfect balance of facts (spiders, the Paris Catabombs, flesh-eating plants, and more), urban legends (being from New Jersey, I have a soft spot for the Monsters entry, because it mentions my Jersey Devil), how-tos (the aforementioned fake blood is accompanied by entries about conducting seances and how to escape from quicksand), and a few ghost stories sprinkled in for good measure (all delightfully creepy).

There was one neat feature that I didn’t notice right away, but once I did, I appreciated it from a practical point of view (I know, boring). But! Since FRIGHTLOPEDIA is aimed at younger readers, and we all know that sometimes younguns have different tolerance levels for scary things, there’s a Fright meter at the beginning of each entry.

Something else that I loved about FRIGHTLOPEDIA? The illustrations. They have a little humor to them, I thought, especially because they reminded me of less scary versions of Stephen Gammel’s illustrations from SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK. I loved Stefano Tambellini’s work throughout! Here’s a sample from his website:


Super fun, right?! I thought so, too.

I really enjoyed FRIGHTLOPEDIA, guys. If you have little ones, I can’t recommend it enough, especially now around Halloween time. Because of the way it’s structured, it’s easy to pass over things that might be too scary and focus on a craft or something less frightening. I loved the different types of entries as well, especially the ones on actual scary places. Those always fascinate me. Thumbs up, Julie Winterbottom!

Because I enjoyed FRIGHTLOPEDIA so much, and because the folks at Workman Publishing are dolls, I’ve got one copy of FRIGHTLOPEDIA to give away to one luck reader! HUZZAH!

A few ground rules: must be 13 to enter and live in the United States. The giveaway starts NOW and runs through the end of Fortnight of Fright (that would be the stroke of midnight on 11/1). Enter here to win!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway